Apples of Gold

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Lord, it is good for us to be here

‘Lord, it is good for us to be here.’ Matthew 17:4

It’s just after five in the morning and sleep has gone. The house is quiet apart from the odd snore now and again. I have no idea why I had to rise so early this morning, however I do not question things as much these days as once I did. Before I picked up my Bible this morning I found myself thinking back upon the dreams I had when first I met the Lord.

I always had a strong desire to serve my King, however I would not be thankful for any kind of service. It had to be the best and I had to be number one. I dreamed of becoming a great preacher – not a great Minister or Pastor as that was too much unseen hard work! I wanted the glory of being the Scottish answer to Mr Spurgeon! I wanted the Lord to use me in such a way that revival started in our land through my preaching!

I wasn’t asking for much was I? Those desires were true and fervent in my soul as a young Christian. I waited and waited and waited for magical things to happen, but they never did! Enough for a young man to want to give up Christianity altogether and try something different!

For over a decade the Lord in His wisdom allowed me to spend the enormous energy that I had planning, preparing and taking part in Humanitarian Aid trips to Romania. There is no doubt that I loved doing this, more than anything. There was no greater pleasure than seeing clothes and food that had been collected on our Island being accepted so gratefully by those in need in various towns and villages in Romania.

I wanted more though! I wanted to serve the Lord out there! I wanted my wife and family to head East and change their lives completely to satisfy my longing for adventure. I put it down to serving the Lord but today I see it as a yearning to satisfy my ‘spirit of adventure.’ It actually took a heart attack to put an end to such dreams!

I suppose all along I wanted to be seen to be doing something for the Lord. I wanted my share of any glory that was going and I was not willing to deny myself and take a back seat. Pride would not let me!! Pride is horrendous. It grips us in its power and holds us there firmer than any vice would. Little do we know the damage that pride does in our lives.

When humbled by God, pride is seen in its true colours. It is a poison to our souls.

My friend, I was absolutely convinced that I was going to serve the Lord in Romania! I was fully persuaded! It was a dream. I lived it with each breath that I took, I slept with it, and each moment I carried it around in my heart.

But God said NO!

Great is His Name and I cannot praise Him enough for all that He has done for me. He broke my heart on countless occasions, yet I would not swap His binding up for anything! I argued with Him, I blamed Him, I murmured against Him and all He did was love me! I dreamed of glorious things happening in my life. I dreamed of glory – my glory! I wanted to be preaching in front of huge congregations, who would be listening to my every word. I wanted! I wanted!

God wants me to sit at my computer in the corner of my wife’s kitchen and serve Him from there! Where is the glory in that? Who will see the work I do? Who will care?

I wanted the feel good factor of being popular. I dreamed of being the best preacher in Scotland. I wanted my reputation to spread so that I would soon receive invitations to preach from around the world. I wanted my Theology to be flawless and my oratory second to none. It meant being seen and applauded by hundreds if not thousands, but I could handle that!

God wanted me at my computer in my wife’s kitchen where ‘Dougie’ waits patiently by my side, hopeful of a walk down to the beach!

My friend, I cannot tell you how happy I am this morning that God has done all that He has. He closed doors that I desperately wanted open, and He opened a way that I refused for long enough to go through. His love for me is beyond words. He has done and does do all things well.

I am sitting at my computer, in the corner of my wife’s kitchen, in the place where the Lord put me and I am happy to serve Him here. I am more than happy. I rejoice in His service as it is the greatest honour any man can have on this earth. ‘I,’ just as the Mackenzie Clan Motto declares, ‘am serving the King!’

It is little wonder that Peter wanted to stay where he was. He was on the mountaintop with His Lord, enjoying His favour while the blessings of heaven were being showered upon them. Why would anyone want to leave? Peter’s request is the request that we would all have made in such circumstances.

It was good for us that the Lord did not heed His request. Had they remained on the mountaintop there would have been no cross and no salvation!

Most, if not all of the heartache that I have suffered since I first started to follow the Lord has been my own doing. I made mistakes and I blamed God for things turning out the way they did. I wanted things to be so different from the way they are now, but God had other plans. Just like Peter, I wanted things done my way, not God’s.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad. My friend, do not be like me. I only managed to get in the way of God’s plan. Life would have been so much easier had I wanted His Will done in my life from day one and not mine! There is a world of a difference between saying it and doing it! I served the Lord with my lips, but my heart was far from Him.

My friend, 'whose will do you really want to do today?'

Today, and today is all I have, is His and I am His. Let His Will be done in my life, now and always. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

Not unto us Lord, not unto us, but do Thou glory take.